The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses of all sizes, forcing many to lay off employees or close their doors altogether.But there is a lifeline available to help businesses stay afloat: the Employee Retention Credit (ERC).
The ERC allows businesses to claim a tax credit on wages paid during a pandemic.It was designed to encourage businesses to continue to pay their employees even if normal operations are not possible.
The ERC may be able to help keep your employees and business afloat if your company has been impacted.To find out more about ERC and to claim, you can either visit the IRS web site, speak with an advisor, or check below.
For a brief reading of what the Employee Retention Credit or ERC is, take a look at this video from the YouTube channel “ERC Specialists”. You can also continue below to read an in-depth explanation of ERC.
The Employee Retention CreditEmployee Retention Tax Credit Paychex
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a refundable tax credit that businesses can claim for qualified wages paid to employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.It was established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act in March 2020 in order to help businesses retain their employees, even if it meant they could not operate normally.
Businesses of all sizes can apply for the ERC, even those that are tax-exempt.To be eligible for the ERC, a company must have had a significant fall in gross receipts and/or have been fully or partial suspended as a result of an COVID-19 government order.
The ERC is able to provide significant financial support for businesses affected by the pandemic.The ERC can provide a significant financial boost to businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.
Why was ERC created?
The COVID-19 Pandemic caused an economic downturn that forced many businesses either to layoff employees or shut their doors.The ERC aims to help companies keep their staff on the payroll in order to quickly reopen after the pandemic is over.
Benefits of the ERC
The ERC is a great way to boost the finances of businesses affected by pandemics.It can assist in keeping employees on board, which will help the business recover quickly.
The ERC can be claimed by businesses even if no taxes are due.Businesses can also claim the ERC for qualified wages paid to employees who are not working due to COVID-19, such as employees who are furloughed or quarantined. Employee Retention Tax Credit Paychex
Impact of ERC on Businesses and the Economy
The ERC kept millions of Americans employed throughout the COVID-19 epidemic.It also helped businesses weather the storm and stay afloat.
It is estimated that the ERC has saved more than 10 million jobs, and prevented hundreds of thousands of businesses from shutting their doors.It has also contributed to the economic recovery by boosting consumer spending and investment.
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a tax credit available to businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To be eligible, a business must have experienced a significant decline in gross receipts or have been fully or partially suspended due to a COVID-19-related government order.
The only difference between ERC 2020 requirements and those of 2021 is the test for gross receipts.In order to qualify for the 2020 ERC, businesses must have had a substantial decline in gross revenues of at least half compared with the same quarter last year.In 2021 a business will have to experience a significant decrease in gross revenues of at least 20 percent compared with the same quarter last year.
Businesses can qualify for the ERC in two ways:
- ERC eligibility is based on whether the business has been suspended completely or in part due to COVID-19.This includes businesses who have been ordered closed, to operate at a lower capacity, or to follow certain restrictions.
- Significant decline in gross receipts: A business that has experienced a significant decline in gross receipts due to COVID-19 is also eligible for the ERC.Significant declines in gross receipts are defined as a drop of at least 50% or 20% from the same quarter last year.
Here are some examples and scenarios to illustrate each eligibility criterion:
An order of the government may suspend all or part of a program.
- ERC will cover a restaurant which is forced to close down by government orders.
- The ERC is available to gyms that are required to operate with a reduced capacity because of a COVID-19-related government order.
Significant decline in gross receipts:
- A retail store that experiences a 50% decline in sales due to COVID-19 is eligible for the ERC.
- A manufacturer that is unable to operate at full capacity due to supply chain disruptions is eligible for the ERC.
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a tax credit that businesses can claim for qualified wages paid to employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.The amount varies depending on how many employees are employed and what quarter it is.
The credit for 2020 is equal 50% of the wages qualified to be paid to employees. This maximum can reach $10,000 per employee.This could mean that an employer can get a credit up to $5,000 for 2020.
For the first quarters of 2021, the credit equals 70% of wages that are qualified. However, this is limited to $10,000 per quarter per employee.A business could receive credit up to $7000 per employee, per quarter for the three first quarters of the year 2021.
Claiming the Credit
How to Claim ERC in Federal Employment Taxreturn
Businesses must amend Form 941X, Adjusted Employer’s Quarterly Federal Income Tax Return or Claim For Refund, to claim the Employee retention credit (ERC) in federal employment tax returns.This form is applicable to any quarter during which the business qualifies for the credit.
Options for Claiming the ERC in Advance
Businesses have three options for claiming the ERC:
- Claim your credit in Advance: Businesses can take advantage of the credit by reducing deposits made quarterly for employment tax.To do this, businesses must file Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits and Taxes, with the IRS.
- Businesses may also reduce their quarterly tax deposits on employment by the credit amount they expect.To reduce the deposits, businesses need to file IRS Form 941 and include the amount of credit that they expect to receive.
- Businesses can ask for a refund if they have already paid the employment tax. They should file Form 941-X at the IRS.
Calculating the Credit Amount and Avoiding Double Dipping with Other Relief Programs
Multiplying employee wages with the applicable credit rate will give you the ERC.Credit rates are 50% in 2020 and 70% during the first three-quarters of 2021.
Businesses should be careful to avoid double-dipping with other relief programs.For example, businesses can’t claim the ERC if they are also claiming the Paid Family Leave Credit or Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
Tips and Resources for Recordkeeping and Documenation
Keep detailed records for all wages that were paid to employees in the ERC period.This will allow businesses to calculate accurately the amount of credit they are entitled to and support their claim in the event that it is audited. Employee Retention Tax Credit Paychex
Here are some tips for recordkeeping and documentation:
- Keep a copy of all payroll records, including W-2 forms and Form 941s.
- Keep track of every employee’s hours, including sick time, holiday, and vacation.
- Keep track of every wage paid to an employee, including the base salary, bonuses, and overtime.
- Keep track of all government orders that affect your business.
The IRS provides a variety of resources to help businesses claim the ERC, including FAQs, fact sheets, and videos.Businesses can call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 for assistance.
Examples of Eligible Businesses
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is available to businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.Below are some business examples that may be eligible for Employee Retention Credit.
- Restaurants forced to close due to government orders
- Retail shops that have experienced a substantial decline in sales
- Manufacturers unable to operate at full capacity due to supply chain disruptions
- Non-profit organizations who saw their donations decrease
- Hotels and other hospitality businesses
- Travel and Tourism Businesses
- Entertainment and Event Businesses
- Personal care businesses
- Fitness studios and gyms
- Salons & spas
- Stores that sell non-essential merchandise
- Businesses required to operate under reduced capacity
- Businesses that were forced to implement new safety measures and protocols
- Businesses that have experienced an increase in costs as a result COVID-19
The ERC may also be available to businesses that were suspended or partially by government orders or experienced a substantial decline in gross revenues due to COVID-19. Employee Retention Tax Credit Paychex
Here are some specific examples of how businesses have used the ERC:
- The ERC allowed a restaurant to retain its staff after it was forced to shut down for several months by government order.
- A retail store which experienced a drop of 50% in sales due COVID-19 could offset its payroll expenses by using the ERC.
- ERC allows a company to maintain its workforce and produce essential products despite being unable to run at full capacity.
- An organization that had seen its donations drop due to COVID-19 could use the ERC in order to keep their employees on the payroll and continue to offer essential services.
If you are a business owner and you are unsure whether or not you are eligible for the ERC, I encourage you to contact a tax professional.They can determine your qualification and help you claim the credit.
Risks of ERC Scams and Aggressive Marketing
Unfortunately, scammers try to take advantage businesses who qualify for the Employee Retention Credit.These scammers can use aggressive marketing strategies to convince companies to sign-up for their services even when they are not eligible to receive the ERC.
Warning Signs and Red Flags
Here are some warning signs and red flags to identify potential ERC scammers:
- They promise to get you a refund without reviewing your records.
- You will be charged high fees upfront, or a percentage of your refund.
- These salespeople use high-pressure tactics. Employee Retention Tax Credit Paychex
- They do not belong to an organization that is reputable.
- You will be asked to provide your personal information or financial details upfront.
Reporting Suspicious Activities and Protecting Personal Information
If you are contacted by an ERC fraudster, you must report this activity to the IRS.You can report this activity by calling 1-800-829-1040.
Also, you should be cautious about protecting your financial and personal data.Do not share your personal data with anyone who contacts uninvited.You can find reviews of a company online, or you can contact the IRS if you’re unsure.
We have covered the Employees Retention (ERC) Credit in this article. This is a tax credit program that helps employers who qualify to retain their staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.We have discussed the ERC eligibility requirements, claim process and potential scams.
We’ve also included some resources and advice on recordkeeping.The ERC provides a valuable incentive that helps employers to reduce their payroll tax liability, improve the cash flow of their business, and provide support for their employees.We encourage eligible employers to claim this credit and, if necessary, seek professional help.
Employee Retention Bonus Frequently Answered Questions
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What is ERC?
Businesses affected by COVID-19 can apply for a refundable income tax credit.
This credit is equal to 50% of qualified wages paid to employees in 2020 and 70% of qualified wages paid to employees in the first three quarters of 2021.
Who is eligible for ERC funding?
Eligible businesses for the ERC include those who experienced a significant decline in gross receipts or were fully or partially suspended due to government orders caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are qualified wages?
Included in qualifying wages are wages, salaries, and tips paid to employees.
Health insurance premiums paid by the employer are also considered qualified wages.
How do I claim ERC?
Businesses can claim the ERC by filing an amended Form 941 or Form 941-X with the IRS.The amended Form 941X must be filed no later than three years after the original Form 941.
Do I need to repay the ERC?
The ERC, however, is a non-refundable tax credit.
Can I claim ERC even if I have received a PPP Loan?
The ERC is available to businesses who have taken out a PPP (Paycheck protection Program) loan.
Businesses cannot claim ERC for salaries that are also used as collateral to borrow PPP loans.
Can self-employed individuals claim ERC?
Self-employed individuals can apply for the ERC.
The Schedule C can be used by self-employed individuals to claim the ERC.
Can nonprofit organizations claim ERC?
Yes, nonprofit organizations are eligible for the ERC.
Nonprofits may claim ERCs on their Form 990T.
Can companies that have a foreign subsidiary claim ERC benefits?Can companies who have a foreign branch claim ERC?
You can claim ERC on wages paid to foreign subsidiaries.
There are a few additional requirements to meet before you can claim the benefit.
Are there mistakes that companies make in claiming ERCs?
When claiming your ERC; businesses must be aware of the following mistakes:
- Calculation error on credit
- All wages are not included
- Failure to amend form 941 – X on time.